What You Should Do After a Break-in
A home robbery would make anyone feel insecure. The risk of not only losing your things, but your identity, is only increased after a burglary. Read the steps below so you know what to do if your home is robbed.
Call the police
If you believe someone is still in your home, quietly sneak out, head to a neighbor’s home and immediately dial 9-1-1. Stay calm and don’t panic. Provide your name, address and your current location.
If the robbers are gone, you still need to wait outside. You don’t want to risk contaminating evidence or accidentally wiping away fingerprints. File a police report and take pictures of any damage. The officers will walk through your home and assess the situation.
Check your valuables
Account for things like your grandmother’s pearls, your laptop and flat-screen TV. If you have a record of your big-ticket items, now would be the time to dig it out. Either way, look in and outside your home for damages and missing items.
Check for missing credit cards you may have left in your home. Some credit card companies offer peace of mind with proactive anti-theft and anti-fraud departments to better protect card owners. Call your credit card company and inform them of the theft.
Contact your insurance company
Call your insurance provider within 24 hours of your break-in and give the details of the incident. Share the claim number, the name of the officer who filed the report and the date to help speed things along.
In the case of a large claim, a claims adjuster will be sent to the home for an in-person investigation. Until the adjuster has all the information he or she needs to process your claim, resist the impulse to tidy up. Once the investigation is complete, you can pick up the pieces.
Secure your home
Since 88 percent of all burglaries are residential, it pays to help thwart a robbery before it happens. Consider adding security cameras or buying a security system with an alarm, and installing motion-sensitive exterior lighting to deter thieves from the start.
Check your windows for working locks and keep them locked when you’re away. Replace the exterior door locks to your house in case thieves made off with a set of keys you forgot about. Leave a radio on when you aren’t at home to make a burglar think twice about walking into an occupied house.
Return to routine
Accept that this crime and your loss happened to you. Let your children speak openly about their feelings regarding the robbery so they can process the event and move on in a healthy way.
See a counselor or therapist to ease anxiety or panic attacks regarding the robbery. Encourage conversation about the incident with your family, but resist the urge to wallow. Time will ease the feelings of invasion and vulnerability caused by a home robbery.